I am a 44 yo female. My blood pressure has usually been right around 110-120/70-80. One month ago I went to a new doctor (I was really anxious and thought I was going to be diagnosed with cancer) and my blood pressure was 119/92. Yesterday I saw this same doctor again and it was 140/90. I did have it checked three times by my mother in between those appointments and it was not high. I am really unsure about how concerned to be about this, particularly the 119/92. If I want to monitor this myself, how often should I check it? I want to have a record to show my GP if I do indeed have a blood pressure problem that needs treatment.
I will add that I have a lot of anxiety related to health issues. I did have a cardiac workup in March 2006 consisting of: blood work, ekgs, echo, holter monitor, thallium stress test, and cath. All were normal and the cardiologist said I had too much anxiety which I needed to deal with.
Anxiety indeed can raise your BP. Especially your bottom number. Try to get your anxiety under control. If you have high anxiety or are under a lot of stress you wont get a true BP reading if you are one of the many people like me who react hypertensive when anxiety or a lot of stress.
I would not take my BP more than once a day or you will get obsessed over it, worry about it, and then you will end up in the "fear adrenaline fear cycle" about your BP. I've been there and its hell.
I agree with Barbarella...my ex suffered from "white coat syndrome"...before the doc put him on meds he agreed for us to measure at home. I would check him once a day...different times. sometimes after he had been working in the yard, or after sitting quietly, or after fighting traffic coming home from work. It was generally fine (tho the traffic thing tended to bring it up some). It is possible that this doctor will raise your pressure from anxiety, even if the cancer issue is resolved.
It's funny that you should say that anxiety can specifically raise the bottom number, because I asked him about that yesterday. He told me that it would raise the top number only. I thought that might not be exactly right, but didn't want to argue with him. I feel that it is anxiety related (not that that makes it good), because having to see this doctor really makes me stressed out.
I appreciate both of your responses, and I'll try to monitor the situation without obsessing!
Of course I am not a doctor and in no way want to dispute what your doctor told you. I can only speak from own experience when monitoring my BP while having anxiety. Yes, your top number goes up too, in my case the bottom number rises when sometimes the top number rises not so much. Then at times the top AND bottom number rose big time, but never ONLY the top #. That is the case with me, and my anxiety and stress when it comes to BP.
A doctor told me one time when I asked him about this bottom # issue that your bottom number is always 2/3 of your top # if your top# rises your bottom number also rises. That of course did/does not apply with me always.
I then saw a Hypertension Specialist and he really educated me on BP. He knew exactly where people like me were coming from.
Good luck! Don't worry to much. Once you calm down your BP will go down. I know its easier said than done. Your mind also can play tricks on you. If you are afraid of your BP numbers your nerves and mind can do a number on you.
Take your BP if its high, sit still for 15 minutes, take deep breath, and try to think of something else. Something calming or what you will do today/tonight, to get your mind off. Then take your BP again. It will slowly come down once the anxiety over it will get less.
Mine is so bad (fear of what my BP # will be) I cannot even have my BP taken at the doctor's office, and I'm on BP meds. The Cardiologist told me to take my BP at home and bring in the readings whenever I go for a routine appointment to any doctor.
The Hypertension Specialist told me that when under severa anxiety and phobia all your BP meds will not help you at that moment. Or some people react like that when under severe anger (anger doesn't raise my BP) the Hypertension Specialist told me at that moment none of the BP meds will help, but all in all they will keep your BP normal on a daily basis. Which mine is on the low side now. I've no side effects from the BP meds.
I do not think that you are a candidate right now for BP meds, but even if you should have to take them don't fear them. There are tons of BP meds out there, if you get side effects they can always switch you. I never needed to be switched, I never had side effects.
Good luck to you! Believe me I do understand your concern.
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